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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Kiev wreck Arsenal's hopes
Arsenal defender Sol Campbell
Dynamo Kiev 2-1 Arsenal

Arsenal's Champions League ambitions hang by a slender threat after a night of bitter disappointment against Dynamo Kiev.

Arsene Wenger's side continued their desperate Europe form as goals in each half from Maxim Shatskikh and Valentin Belkevich left them rooted at the bottom of Group B.

Thierry Henry gave Arsenal hope when he scored their first goal in five hours of European football late on, but it was not enough to salvage a point.

Arsenal now almost certainly have to win their last three games to have a chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages after Lokomotiv Moscow beat Inter Milan 3-0.

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was Arsenal's villain of the piece, presenting the second goal to Belkevich with a misplaced clearance just as the Gunners were threatening to mount a revival.

KEY MOMENTS
26 mins: Maxim Shatskikh gives Dynamo Kiev the lead
62 mins: Jens Lehmann gifts Valentin Belkevich Kiev's second
79 mins: Thierry Henry pulls a goal back for Arsenal
90 mins: Kolo Toure hits the bar for Arsenal

Arsenal boss Wenger decided against risking Patrick Vieira, who has been suffering with a thigh problem, leaving his captain on the bench.

But Arsenal made light of his absence with a bright start that almost brought a goal after only eight minutes,

Robert Pires stole in unmarked on to Henry's corner only to strike the bar with Kiev goalkeeper Olexander Shovkovsky beaten.

And Lauren also posed a threat as he raced into the Kiev danger zone in the 25th minute, only to be outnumbered.

But Kiev were showing their own attacking threat and went ahead only seconds after Lauren's raid was halted.

Arsenal failed to clear on the edge of the area, and Shatskikh took advantage of a fortunate ricochet to volley past Lehmann.

I still believe we will go through, I just don't know who with
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Kiev moved forward with greater confidence and Lehmann was forced to tip over a long-range drive from Tiberiu Ghioane.

Arsenal were failing to make headway, but saw a chink of light when Edu's downward header was saved by Shovkovsky.

Wenger played his trump card on the hour when Vieira came on to replace Edu - but the plan was undone by a catastrophic error from Lehmann two minutes later.

The German goalkeeper sent a clearance straight to Belkevich, and even though he was able to save his first effort, he lost control and allowed the Kiev midfield man to score from a tight angle.

Arsenal desperately needed a lifeline as time ran out - and Henry provided it with 11 minutes left.

Pires was the provider, leaving Henry with a simple task to put Arsenal back in contention.

Arsenal did everything but score in the third minute of injury-time when, following a goalmouth scramble and a save by Shovkovsky from Kanu, Kolo Toure struck the bar from only six yards out.


Dynamo Kiev: Shovkovskiy, Fedorov, Dmytrulin (Sablic 33), Belkevich, Peev, Shatskikh, Ghioane (Khatskevitch 79), Gusev (Rincon 64), Nesmachnyi, Gavrancic, Leko.
Subs Not Used: Reva, El Kaddouri, Nanni, Milevski.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Cole, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Edu (Vieira 61), Silva (Kanu 74), Parlour (Ljungberg 74), Pires, Henry, Wiltord.
Subs Not Used: Stack, Cygan, Clichy, Hoyte.

Attendance: 80,000.

Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria).






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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We gave absolutely everything"




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